FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

There is a lot involved when it comes to driver’s education and obtaining a driver’s license. This section provides answers to common questions as well as not so common questions.

Driver’s Education Curriculum
The state of Massachusetts requires that a complete Drivers Education course consists of 30 hours of classroom instruction, 12 hours of behind the wheel instruction and 6 hours of the student observing another student drive. In addition, if the student is under 18 years of age, their parent or guardian must complete a 2 hour Parent Class.
Yes. The driver’s education course must be completed within 2 years of the students start date in order to receive a Massachusetts issued Driver Education Certificate.
We have 2 different options: The Paid In Full option is $579 (credit/debit, cash or check) and saves you $30 compared to the Down Payment option. This option includes classroom, behind the wheel lessons and observation. The down payment option is $129 (credit/debit, cash or check) to start class and $40 (cash or check) is due at the start of EACH behind the wheel lesson. This option totals $609.
No. You will not receive a bill from us. If you have paid the down payment option you will need to provide $40 (cash or check) at the start of each of the 12 behind the wheel lessons.
We must make the most use of each hour of each day that we offer behind the wheel lessons. Therefore, we require 24 hours’ notice so that we have the opportunity to offer another student that hour. (Students may text the number that is provided to them when lessons are initially set up if they need to cancel or reschedule an appointment.) Monday behind the wheel lessons must be cancelled by noon on the Saturday before, for the same reason. We don’t work on Sundays and, if you call us on a Sunday at 7pm to cancel a 2pm or 3pm behind the wheel lesson, it doesn’t give us an opportunity to fill the hour. Once we lose the hour, we can’t get it back. We hope you understand. We know, on occasion, circumstances beyond control may result in a missed appointment or a short notice cancellation. In this event, our team does everything possible to fill the hour, so we don’t have to charge a fee. The fee for a missed lesson is $30.
Classroom
You can start the classroom portion of driver’s education at 15 years 9 months.
No, you do not need your Learner’s Permit to start class. You can obtain your learner’s permit on your 16th birthday but you are able to start class at 15 years 9 months.
The 30 classroom hours take place at Meadows Driving School in Palmer located at 1339 Main Street. For Behind The Wheel lessons we service a broad area of Palmer, Monson, Ware, West Warren and some areas of other surrounding towns. We pick up and drop off at home, school, work etc. If a student lives too far out of the areas we service, we can make arrangements for a convenient pick up and drop off location.
The only things that you will need to bring to class are an open mind and the willingness to learn! The homework that you will receive from Meadows Driving School is to get 40 hours of PRACTICE.
If you miss a class you will need to make up that exact number class during one of our next sessions. Each class is numbered #1-15. For example, if you miss class #10 you will have to make class #10 up during one of our upcoming class sessions (i.e. night class or an accelerated class). Click here to find our class calendar.
Permit/Driving
The state of Massachusetts allows individuals to apply for a Class D learners permit on their 16th birthday.
You must go to a full service Registry of Motor Vehicles branch, such as Southbridge or Springfield. You do not need an appointment and you cannot schedule an appointment. You must go at least two hours before the branch closes. Otherwise, you may be turned away, due to a lack of time to get in to take the test. You must have a Learner’s Permit Application, which is available on the RMV’s website or at the RMV branch, a certified copy of your birth certificate (one with a raised seal) or a passport and your social security card/number. Click here for a complete list of Acceptable Documents. The cost of a learner’s permit test is $30.00. You must pass an eye exam, so if you need glasses/contact lenses, don’t forget them! You will also have your photograph taken once you have passed the permit exam.
You will need to study the Massachusetts Driver’s Manual. This manual is available on the RMV’s website. Click here for the Driver’s Manual or you may obtain a copy from any RMV branch. There is a fee of $5.00 per manual.
You can apply for a permit or license at any full service RMV branch location.
Click here for a full list of RMV branch locations.
The RMV will issue you a Massachusetts learner’s permit. Make sure you review all of the information on your Learner’s Permit for accuracy. Make sure your name, address and date of birth are all accurate! The clerks at the RMV enter the information you provide on the Learner’s Permit Application, however, sometimes errors are made. Do not leave the RMV counter/clerk until you are sure your information is correct!
If you don’t pass your test, there is no waiting period for another try. You can get right back in line and test again. However, the RMV charges $30.00 for each test. Make sure you’ve studied and are prepared.
You can drive with anyone that is at least 21 years of age AND has had their license for a year or more.
You must replace your learner’s permit if you lose it. Students must go back to the RMV and pay a fee of $15.00 for a duplicate learner’s permit. If your learner’s permit becomes damaged/illegible, you may have to replace it. They are not machine washable! Check with us and we’ll let you know if it needs to be replaced. Please note the learner’s permit may not be altered, photocopied, laminated or taped! This will result in a rejected road test! Click here for the Learner’s Permit Application Form.
We generally start driving lessons after someone has completed the classroom portion of driver’s education. The student is also required to have a valid Massachusetts Learners Permit in order to legally drive on any public roadway. We also require the signed portion of our Outline to be returned to us before we can start lessons.
Parent Class
In Massachusetts any parent that has a student under the age of 18 has to complete a parent class before the student is finished with the driver’s education program. The parent class is good for 5 years (Example: If the parent attended a parent class on June 15th, 2012 the class will be good until June 15th, 2017) The parent would not have to re-attend a parent class if their student finishes before June 15th, 2017. The parent class consists of topics such as but are not limited to: an overview of the driver’s education process (including requirements and curriculum); permit information; helpful tips to help prepare students for the roadway; an overview of Junior Operator Laws and their penalties; distractions while driving; insurance information; road test information including sponsorship options; a question and answer session as well as other topics related to the driver’s education experience.
If the student is under the age of 18 and a parent hasn’t already attended a Parent Class within the past 5 years, then yes. If a student is Over the age of 18 a parent Does Not have to attend a Parent Class.
You do not have to sign up for our parent class. Just go to our Class Calendar to find a parent class that fits your schedule. We generally offer our parent classes on one of the first Sundays of each month. If you are not available on Sundays check the calendar for our East Longmeadow location. They offer their Parent Classes on Saturdays.
The Parent Class is $25 (cash or check). We are not able to build the cost of the parent class into the total tuition because not everybody has to take it. (example: If a student is over 18 years of age or if a parent has taken a Parent Class within the last 5 years)
You will not receive a physical copy of your Driver’s Education Certificate. We submit your DEC once ALL components of the Driver’s Education curriculum are completed. Once the RMV receives and enters your information into their database you will be allowed to book a test. Your insurance company will cross reference with the RMV to make sure that you have a valid Driver’s Education Certificate once you are a licensed driver. Click here to check the status of your Driver’s Education Certificate.
Road Test & License
You must have a valid learner’s permit for 6 consecutive months, without incident, and you must complete a driver’s education course. Once you’ve completed the driver’s education course we will need to submit your driver’s education certificate (DEC). Once the Registry of Motor Vehicles has entered your DEC a road test can be scheduled. If you are 18 years old or older, you may book a test at any time.
You cannot book your road test at an RMV branch sooner than 30 days before your eligibility date. If you got your learner’s permit on July 8, 2015 and complete the driver education course requirements on November 28, 2015, you cannot contact the RMV to schedule your road test before December 8, 2015 for a possible appointment on January 8, 2016 or later. However, if you want to be penciled in on a Saturday/Sunday road test with Meadows Driving School, just let us know and we’ll put you on our list!
Please contact our office (413-283-3332) for road test options.
You cannot have two appointments for a road test booked at the same time. The RMV would cut you from our Saturday/Sunday road test list because they do not have the authority to cancel your weekday branch appointment.
There is no waiting period restriction for another road test appointment. However, your test results must be graded and entered into the RMV’s data base before a new appointment can be booked. The RMV road test appointments do book out 6 weeks, due to a combination of the demand for appointments and limited number of State Examiners who conduct the road test exams. The RMV allows an individual to take the Road Test Exam six (6) times within a given calendar year.
No! Once a student passes the road test exam on a Saturday/Sunday, the State Examiner validates your learner’s permit, making it a temporary Massachusetts driver’s license, grades your test results and the RMV will generate and mail your permanent license directly to the address on your road test application!
On the day of your road test you will need your permit and a completed Class D or M Road Test Application. A parent/guardian will need to complete and sign their portion of the application as well. If a student is Over the age of 18 they do not need a parent’s signature.
A sponsor is a licensed driver that is over years of age and has had a license for a year or more that sits in the back seat for the duration of the road test to make sure that a fair test is given. Meadows Driving School offers sponsorship as one of our services. Please contact us for Sponsorship Options. (413-283-3332)
If your RMV fees have been paid at least 48 hours before your road test the examiner will stamp and sign the back of your Learner’s Permit. That will become your temporary license until the hard copy comes in the mail. (Usually within 7-10 business days) If your RMV fees have not been paid before your road test you will have to go into the RMV to pay your fees in order to make your temporary license active.
You will need to be insured THE DAY that you get your DRIVERS LICENSE. If you do not have your own insurance policy or you are not on somebody else’s policy and you get into an accident, you will not be covered. In that situation you will be responsible for the damages yourself. You DO NOT need any type of insurance while you are a permitted driver. The person’s vehicle that you are driving will assume all liability for any damages caused while you are operating the vehicle.

Get your license with us

Meadows Driving School offers Road Test Sponsorship allowing our students to take their Massachusetts Class D Driver’s Exam at our school location. We also complete all RMV road test related transactions, provide a certified instructor as well as the use of our vehicle for the road test.